Portland Web Innovators Meeting Tonight

I know it’s late notice, but this should a fun one. Adam has put together a great event, with Dietrich Ayala, a Portland-based Mozilla developer, giving a preview of Firefox 3. Thanks to ISITE for hosting too!

When it comes to web innovations, Firefox definitely fits the bill. I remember first discovering Firebird (as it was known before the name change) a few years back along with the Edit CSS plugin, and was amazed that I could edit CSS on the fly and see the changes live. Its been my browser of choice ever since. I didn’t even bother with Safari when I recently bought an iMac, took it out of the dock on the first day in fact. It’s only used for compatibility testing. The main reason I use Firefox? For the plugins. No other browser can compete with the sheer volume of useful plugins. This speaks to a compelling reason for offering an API as well, if you can get developers building cool stuff on your platform, the users will follow, and I do believe Firefox will take over IE.

I’ll be interested in the discussion around offline apps as well, one of the most mentioned features of Firefox 3. What, with the recent buzz around Adobe’s Apollo launch and then DHH’s remarks.

Come out if you can, here’s the details:

Wednesday, April 4, 2007
7:00 PM – 9:00 PM

ISITE Design
115 NW First Avenue, Suite 500
Portland, Oregon 97209

Dietrich Ayala will talk about his work with the Mozilla Corporation and what’s coming in Firefox 3.


Running multiple browser versions side-by-side

Need to run both IE 6 and 7 in order to test your sites? For that matter, you’ll probably want Firefox 1.5 and at the same time as well. Well, the IE blog announces the release of an Virtual PC hard drive with an authorized Windows XP image and IE 6 installed. They also provide the previously announced free VPC install.

There is a catch, it only lasts 4 months (treating us to a wonderful April fools). But at least it saves me from creating my own VPC hard drive and sitting through a windows install until then.

Firefox 2 takes new measures against popups

Firefox 2

If I had to pick only one application to have installed on my pc, it would be Firefox. I live in it for a good chunk of the day, and am extremely hesitant to install anything else (with the exception of development servers and some programming tools). That’s the power of the web, you can do almost anything in a browser now days.

So, it was with great excitement that I updated to the new Firefox release a couple weeks ago. There are definitely some great features, first and foremost is the spell-checker (getting close to saying goodbye to Word forever) and second , improved tabbing. But there was one subtle change that is a rather large blow to pop-up windows. I don’t mean pop-ups in the bad way, when used for ads. I mean when purposely used for an application, such as the one I’m currently developing where the pop-up allows the user to monitor information while still using the main application. IMO, it would be very awkward to use a div-window within the main document. So, the change?

Note the “Raise or lower windows” option in the javascript settings. You can no longer bring focus to a opened window by default. The user has to grant this permission. Fat chance of relying on a user setting. So, my workaround is to close and open the window again when trying to bring it to focus. This is doable, but for the life of me, I can’t figure out how to save off the coordinates of the opened window before closing it. Still some more research for that one to get a nice cross-browser solution.

Anyway, couple the focus issues with the title bar issue discovered by a co-worker, and it really seems that FF is pushing hard against pop-ups.

Windows Live Favorites

Let me start off by saying this Windows Live branding is dumb. I mean, I guess it presents some consistency. But, like with Windows Live Local, it sounds like a tag line for the evening news, not a web app.

So anyway, I was reading over at Dare’s blog about the release of Windows Live Favorites and the associated toolbar. I thought it might be interesting to try out. But, it’s entirely IE specific. Bleh. Considering this “Live” strategy is about hosted services, I see no reason, other than the fact that Microsoft makes IE, to not support other browsers. I only use IE when I have to to test sites, so this is certainly no reason to switch back. I’ll stick with del.icio.us and the firefox extension for now.

Just to recap online bookmark services/tools that I’ve tried or attempted to try:

I haven’t tried any of the other Del.icio.us-alikes, like Furl, My Web, etc. Does anybody prefer one of these or a different service that works well with FireFox? I’d be curious to take a look.